Ah, December. As a child, I looked upon this month with wonder and barely restrained anticipation. It meant all kinds of wonderful things: snow, light displays, Christmas, school vacation. It brought family together at my grandparents’ houses with love, laughter, and lots of food. I waited all year for December.

The grown-up in me now looks at December with a tiny frisson of dread. Shopping, school delays, day care juggling, slippery roads–it’s not the same anymore. December is just…December.

And yet, a piece of that child still lives in me. When I see the calendar flip to the last month of the year, my heart leaps (well, maybe hops) with inexplicable delight. Yes, this month offers more hassles than ease in my adult life, but somehow I still anticipate Christmas and New Year’s Eve with hope–hope that this year, I’ll recapture the kid in me, the one who danced through December and all its trappings.

If you have that kid in you, I hope you find her. Take a minute and enjoy a memory you haven’t recalled in years. Joy inspires; see what it can do for you.